How to Become a Vet in Australia?
Australian veterinary science courses are among some of the best and most competitive in the world. Maybe you’re considering coming here to study to be a vet, but you’re not sure if your English is good enough. Or, perhaps you feel a little overwhelmed at the prospect of going straight into an undergraduate degree in a new country.
The good news is, if becoming a vet is your passion, there are lots of different pathways to your dream degree, no matter what your level of English!
Hei Lam Chan (Karen) is twenty years old, and came to study veterinary science in Australia from Hong Kong.
She needed to improve her English and gain some study skills before she could go on to study vet science, so she started her pathway to university with a Murdoch University Preparation Course at Murdoch Institute of Technology (MIT).
I felt like I needed to be more prepared before going into university-level study in Australia. I found that MIT provided short courses that could help me transition into an undergraduate vet degree. – (Karen) Hei Lam Chan (Bachelor of Veterinary Science)
Karen successfully completed her preparation course, and has now gone on to study a Bachelor of Veterinary Science at university. When she finishes her degree, she’ll be a fully qualified veterinarian, able to work in Australia or abroad.
If this is a career path you’re interested in following, here’s our step-by-step guide on how to become a vet in Australia.
1. Decide on a course and university.
Did you know that according to University Reviews, the best three universities in Australia for studying veterinary science are: James Cook University, Murdoch University and Charles Sturt University?
Of these, Murdoch University has the highest graduate salary for vet science graduates!
If you are able to gain direct entry into university, to become a qualified vet, you’ll need to complete a three-year Bachelor of Science (Veterinary Biology), which progresses into an integrated DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine). You could complete your full qualification over 12 semesters, or 5 calendar years.
When you graduate, you will be qualified to register immediately and practice as a vet in Australia and other countries including New Zealand, UK, Europe, Singapore, Malaysia and North America.
Do your own research on the different courses on offer, and make a choice on where you want to study. Remember, if you need to improve your English or meet certain academic requirements, you should choose a university that also offers preparation courses.
2. Check the academic and English language entry requirements for your course
There are different entry requirements for each individual course, and you can find these on the website of your institution. One of the most important things to consider is your level of English, because this will determine your pathway to university.
If your English is already strong, then you can directly enrol in your university course. If your English level is not quite sufficient or you don’t meet the academic requirements, you have the chance to study a language or preparation course before transferring into the degree you want.
At Murdoch Institute of Technology, you can begin your pathway to veterinary science at Murdoch University with a course in General English, Academic English or a Murdoch University Preparation Course (MUPC).
Direct entry to the veterinary science program at Murdoch University is extremely competitive. MIT offers you the chance to take an alternate pathway, packaging MUPC with a Bachelor of Animal Science. If you achieve the necessary grades, it will allow you to apply to transfer to veterinary science after your first year of university.
Studying an MUPC gives you a transition period for you to adapt to life here while you’re still able to, because once you are in uni things become hectic and busy.
I really enjoyed my studies at MIT. First of all, staff and teachers are friendly, which helped me a lot. Also, the teaching standard is high, and I gained a lot of knowledge that has helped me transition into studying vet science at university.
For example, in a communication subject we were taught how to reference properly and write reports and essays. The style is quite different from what I was learning in Hong Kong. – (Karen) Hei Lam Chan
3. Apply for your course.
You can find all the documents required for applications on the website of your institution. Don’t forget to contact student support staff if you have any questions.
4. Receive your letter of offer, followed by your confirmation of enrolment.
Hooray! This is a time to celebrate with your family. It’s also a good time to start researching what your life in your new home will be like.
5. Apply for your visa.
Now that you’ve got your paperwork, you can apply for your student visa. To do this you must first create an account online with the Australian Immigration authority, at: https://online.immi.gov.au/lusc/register
Then, you will need to upload digital copies of these documents onto your online account:
- Your Confirmation of Enrolment
- An OSHC health insurance
- Passport valid for your whole stay
- Proof of temporary stay
See here for more information about your student visa.
6. Plan your arrival
You’ve done all the paperwork, now it’s time to think about life when you arrive. Check out these 8 tips from international students on how to settle in to life in Australia. You’ll be on your way to becoming a veterinarian in no time at all.
Plus, don’t forget to have a read of our student safety tips, too. Keep away from those crocodiles (unless you’re trying to save one at a clinic!)
7. Now it’s time to study, live, grow, and develop your passion.
You’ve arrived, started your studies and you’re trying to juggle life and work. This will be the story of your next few years, so make sure you enjoy it.
If you’re studying at MIT and Murdoch University, make sure you take advantage of all the perks. The uni houses Australia’s only veterinary medical school with its very own farm on-site! You’ll also have access to state-of-the-art clinics, an Emergency Centre for small and large animals, as well as a clinic for exotic animals
Murdoch University has its very own facility at Perth Zoo, as well as partnerships with numerous wildlife and animal shelters around the local area to make sure you gain experience with a wide variety of animals.
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